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Maccabi Tel Aviv's loss to Barcelona: a marathon of mistakes Israel today


With all due respect to Wade Baldwin's ability, he is not the natural replacement for Lorenzo Brown • For the umpteenth time, Oded Ketch's apprentices simply collapsed in the finish • What is a deep bench worth without a wide rotation, especially in a week with 4 games? • And how does all this relate to Luna Chemtai Saltpeter?


At the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, Luna Chemtai Saltpeter was a candidate for a medal in the marathon.

She won the Tokyo Marathon just the year before, and came with a precise plan to repeat the feat.

She started strong and clung to the lead, moved to lead the race at the 20th kilometer, stayed close and was a candidate for the podium even when she lost her hat at the 30th kilometer, then at the 38th kilometer she simply collapsed, switched to a walk, and finished in 66th place.

One of the biggest disappointments in the history of Israeli Olympic sports.

From a burning fire to shame and depression.


So Maccabi Tel Aviv in Barcelona last night.  

A kilometer of a dream

The learning from the game yesterday (Tuesday) must start precisely in the momentum minutes in the third quarter.

They create a level of ability that is important for the team to remember - I can play like that!

The 5-8 for three in this quarter was the result and not the reason.

The result of a balanced composition and team play, where everyone does only what they know.

The significant change was to put Baldwin in position 2 clearly, and instruct Adams to center.

And so Colson got his shots and hit them, Baldwin freed from game management hit 3 consecutive 3-pointers, and through the offense the defense became better.

The being of a winning team develops, and magic is created: even bad shots go in, dwarves take a rebound over giants, and even the referees join the snowball, and respect the aggressiveness.

It has been written here for a long time that Adams is the second most important player in Maccabi, and the only one who can replace Lorenzo Brown both in concentration, and in creating for himself for others.

He is verbal and communicative, a leader by nature, and received a significant boost from the contract extension.

But then the hat fell off.

Adams on his way to the basket, photo: Maccabi Tel Aviv, the official Instagram

The hat fell and the wall arrived

20 seconds to the end of the third quarter Maccabi led by 10.

She finished the quarter with a lead of 5, a bit of a shame but not bad.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Adams twisted his ankle and left, but Maccabi got along with all that.

She returned to the lead by 6, Ketch again succeeded with a challenge and passed a critical ball to the yellow side, and even Adams returned with a triangle on the ankle.

But then Maccabi reached the wall that marathon runners reach around the 35th kilometer.

This is a mental wall that usually results from the excess of lactic acid in the muscles and the accumulated fatigue.

(To be fair, at Luna Chemtai, female affairs were also added to all of these).

And there Maccabi was decided, went the next seven minutes without scoring a point, and Barcelona ran 14:0, turned the game around and cruised to victory.

Dr. Weed and Mr. Baldwin

The difference between the magical Maccabi and the damaged one is the oxygen in Wade Baldwin's lungs, legs and head.

After playing 35 minutes in Piraeus on Friday, and another perhaps unnecessary 20 in Kiryat Ata on Sunday, he was asked to play another 34 in Barcelona.

He is indeed athletic and strong, but it is an unhealthy load and especially not necessary.

And as he was at his peak in the third quarter, he turned around in the fourth quarter and dismantled everything he had built.

You can literally see how the head stops getting oxygen and overwhelms the body.

The shots are shorter, the dribbling is more clumsy, offenses of frustration, and anger at the referees, at the friends, at the coach and at himself.

Oded already took him out after two three-pointers that mostly hurt the birds, but for some reason he returned him after 17 seconds (about three minutes passed gross due to monitor games and a timeout).

It seems that the excessive dependence of Ketch on Baldwin is the main stumbling block of the current Maccabi.

He's great when he penetrates and draws defense and makes a pass, and when he gets the threes it's great.

But Maccabi knows how to play well even without him.

And for sure, he is not Brown's replacement, and he is not a quarterback.

The citric acid cycle

Precisely in a week of three away games, with two difficult games on Spanish soil and a long flight - precisely in this game Ketch shortened the rotation to only nine players.

Precisely after Shiftah Ziv, Jake Cohen and Rafi Manko were outstanding in Kiryat Ata, they did not take off their sweats at all.

The main way to release lactic acid from the muscles is rest, but the short rotation didn't allow Baldwin, Martin and Adams to do that.

Maccabi's doctor opened a field hospital next to the bench, but that didn't change the attitude towards the Israeli league team Hawaii.

Right now, when Hollins is injured and eased the rotation, Manco can't even get his 8 minutes?

Jake Cohen in the starting five was the foundation of Maccabi's successful rotation in the winning streak, but even Braymo's injury did not bring him off the bench.

And Petah Ziv, who stars in the league, did not step on the floor even when Adams walked out with a swollen ankle.

Jake Cohen.

Legitimate rotation player, photo: Alan Shiver

What's depth without wide rotation, especially in a week like this?

And so Maccabi collapsed physically and mentally at the end, while opposite Saras brings up fresh players such as Lafrobitola and the elderly Higgins, and uses the experience of his veterans - Mirotic and Saturnski.

Hard disillusionment and a return to the real and cruel world.

for the next run

Such a loss could have a heavy meaning for the team.

You have to pack up and move on, maybe by plane or maybe by bus, along the beautiful coastline between Barcelona and Valencia, and think for 350 kilometers how you lost this game too.

You see in the table that you are no longer in the top eight, Adams and Braymo's ankle will swell more, Brown is still not fit.

At the end of the game, Ketch explained that Barcelona "does not lose quality in substitutions".

Is this really what Yeftah Ziv and Jake Cohen need to hear?

Because with or without a choice, Ketch will have to go deep into his bench in tomorrow's game in Valencia, if he wants a chance to win.

The minutes will be distributed differently, the rotation will be different, but little by little, the games are over, and Maccabi is always one step behind itself.

And at this rate she will find herself outside the podium, and also outside the top eight.     

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2023-02-01

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